By WAYLON GALVEZ
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. Barako Bull vs San Mig Coffee
6:30 p.m. Alaska vs Barangay Ginebra
The Aces are hoping their defense will hold against the run-and-gun Barangay Ginebra when they collide tonight in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We have to keep that defensive effort which allowed us to win three straight,“ said Trillo who steered the Aces to a 92-81 win over Air21 last Friday.
In their last three wins, the Aces held their opponents to an average of 84 points. Calvin Abueva, the one-time NCAA Most Valuable Player from San Sebastian College, has given the Aces a much-needed lift with his energy and athleticism.
Against Air21, Abueva had another double-double performance of 16 points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action.
Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen has many things to worry about than Abueva, however.
“That’s the challenge for us. But it’s hard to concentrate on just one player,“ said Tanquingcen. “They’re deep in every position, so it’s not just Abueva.“
Tanquingcen stressed the need to stay focused on the job at hand.
“We’ll take of our own business. We just have to play smarter. We made a lot of mental mistakes in our previous games. These things will come but we just have to control it,“ he said.
The Kings dropped to 2-3 following an 88-86 loss to Petron last Wednesday.
Alaska is expected to miss the services of Cyrus Baguio, who had 15 points opposite Air21 before leaving with 9:57 left in the fourth quarter due to a left knee injury.
Without Baguio, Trillo hopes to get solid contributions anew from his other play ers like Casio, who led Alaska in scoring with 19 points against Air21.
The Aces can also count on Dondon Hontiveros, Sonny Thoss, Tony dela Cruz, RJ Jazul, Gabby Espinas, and rookie Raffy Reyes.
In the first game, San Mig Coffee battles Barako Bull at 4:15 p.m.
Both teams are coming off losses with the Mixers being edged out by Rain or Shine, 80-79, and the Energy Cola falling to Talk `N Text, 79-76.
During San Mig’s defeat, James Yap was ejected midway in the fourth quarter after receiving his second technical foul when he committed a Flagrant 1 against Jireh Ibanes.